My husband is taking me out for my 30th birthday dinner, and a friend of mine who is a real chowhound, specializing in Italian tastes, is coming along. We have been to La Morra in the past, loved it, want another new experience. Maybe especially looking for swoon-inducing fish, and unusual desserts?
I was thinking of Taranta, since my friend is unlikely to have tasted anything like the Italian-Peruvian fusion before, but I searched Chowhound for opinions and came up with as many disappointed as impressed. We haven't been to Sage or Grotto either, and I know those are very well-regarded on this board.
We are all grad students, so we are especially motivated to do our research and spend our very limited dollars on good value, since it'll probably be my 31st birthday before we are going anywhere like this again. :)